May want to bring those small pets inside.

Animal Services in Wichita Falls is warning people that more reports of coyotes have been coming in. People have reported them in Wichita Falls, specifically in the Lake Wichita park area.

They warn that coyotes are scavengers and will eat just about anything. They're more active at night, but can be spotted during the daytime.

Coyote outside a home in Wichita Falls, Tex.
Coyote outside a home in Wichita Falls, Tex. (credit: Brenda Patterson Morriss-Johnson)

December thru February is prime mating season for the coyote which may explain the more frequent sightings recently.

Animal Services suggests the following tips on keeping coyotes away:

1)         Don’t feed them.  They need to remain wild and not dependent on people for food.
2)         Eliminate any food or water sources from your yard or property.
3)         Bird feeders should be placed up high. Coyotes may be attracted by bread, table scraps or even seeds.  Birds and rodents may also attract them.
4)         Place all trash and garbage into secure containers.
5)         Feed your pets inside. Do not leave any food sources outside. Pick up any leftover food.  Store pet and livestock feed in inaccessible containers.
6)         Trim any shrubbery which may provide cover or a hiding spot. This is especially important at ground level.
7)         Maintain secure fencing around your yard.  A tall fence along with a barrier at the bottom to keep coyotes from jumping over or digging in is ideal.  Coyote rollers can also be placed on the outside of fences to keep coyotes from jumping into yards.
8)         Supervise all children and pets when they are outside. Don’t allow pets to roam freely.  Make sure housing for any other animals is also safe and secure.
9)         If you’re walking your dog out on the trail and spot a coyote, change your course of direction and move away. You may also make loud noises to discourage the animal from approaching any further. Keep your pets on leash at all times.

If you do see coyotes in your area, discourage them from frequenting your yard or neighborhood by making loud noises and making the area unwelcoming. Coyotes are naturally timid and will leave the area if it’s not pleasant for them or people continue to warn them off. Scare tactics that include sound, light and motion work best.  Coyotes are very routine creatures so interrupting that routine will help deter them from your area.

So stay safe out there and hopefully the only coyotes we see are at Old High games.

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